I went to see the new Star Trek movie, which is called, cleverly enough, "Star Trek". Review in a sentence: Kinda fun in a Saturday morning cartoon sort of way, but it has some of the dumbest writing in the history of the world.
If you're a fan, you've already seen it. It's the second time for one of the guys I went with. If you sorta like Star Trek then you can have fun between the winces. If you're not a Star Trek fan... Hard to say. A lot of people went to see the Transformers movie and it sucked.
I'm not going to pick the film apart piece by piece. It's not a terrible film. But on the other hand, it ain't a great film either. Besides, some people find my smartypants type reviews funny.
In To The Breach! A' Spoiling I Shall Go!
This is supposed to be a reboot of the franchise. OK. I can live with that. I'm not a big fan of movies like this. The ones that show that one scene that defined everyone's character. In real life there usually isn't one scene. People grow over time and relationships grow with them.
Oh well, this is mostly like real life actors running around like pissed off Muppet Babies, so we have to let that slide.
My first kibitz is that it didn't feel like a Start Trek movie. It has all the names and a few of the places, but the rest was generic shaky camera CGI. The original Star Wars had it's feel. The Star Trek movies, even the ones that sucked (and boy did some suck), still felt like Star Trek. This one really didn't.
It has the obligatory Kobayashi Maru (bite me, I looked up the spelling) simulator scene. In the original universe Captain Kirk is the only person to beat the simulator. W00t! The universe is in awe. He later confesses, in one of the most painfully stupid scenes in all of the Star Trek universe, the he cheated. That's right, Captain James T. Kirk is not a great star ship captain, he's a cheating weasel. Anyway, his defense? He doesn't like to loose. I hate blue balls but that doesn't give me the right to date rape.
I wonder if a more qualified recruit was screwed out of his own ship because Kirk blew a professor to get to the top. I'm sure that Diane Duane's written book about him. "Lieutenant Pango: Boned by Kirk!"
In this movie they change it up a bit. In this version, Kirk cheats, but does so in such a psychotically obvious way that everyone knows he cheats. There can be no other option. He played "Duke Nukem" in god mode. It's like he went to the final and yelling "I sure hope the second answer isn't 'Your mother and a horta!'. Oh golly gee whiz, it is! The guys in Animal House could cheat with more elan then he.
In fact, it's not even cheating. It's a psychopathic desire to fail. I wouldn't want this clown running a space fairing warship with guns in the front. I wouldn't want him driving a bus! The last words I want to hear as I wing into a yawning chasm with a bus load of other victims isn't the driver saying "I sure hope this isn't a yawning chasm below us!". It is Jimmy, but gravity is going to fix that in a couple of seconds. Splat!
Also, everything in this movie was dirty. I know that we can use CGI to make things look like crap, but that doesn't mean we have to. One of the things that I liked about the old Enterprise is they kept it clean. Even the bad guys understood hygiene. They may have had only had 3 sets, but they kept them swept and they brushed their teeth.
Here, everything was filthy, everyone needed a shave and everyone needed a spanking! Needing a shave isn't a special effect!
I know it's supposed to make it more "adult", but it doesn't. I've been (in the legal sense) an adult most of my life. I've never worked in a place as dark and dank as the Romulan super-CGI-future-miner-ship. I can see dark coal bins, but why wasn't there proper lighting on the bridge? I have florescent lights in my cubical, and it doesn't have warp drive.
And there were pipes everywhere! I mean everywhere! Remember, these ships are huge. They don't hang with gravity. The have all the room they need, but man they have a lot of pipes. It's like the all of galactic space is run by Thomas the Tank Engine. Enough with the steam punk. In the future they have wallboard!
And the people! Yeek! I've also worked with some pretty wretched people, but even in the worst of places, most people walk around with their asses blissfully board free.
How about that high tech computer talk? And when they start talking about computers, they made it sound like the Enterprise is written in AppleSoft BASIC. Instead of saying plebeian stuff like "Captain, the subroutines are interfering with our, um, SoundBlaster 16, um, thousand.", they should use hip psychological terms like "Captain, someones' boned the computer's universe of discourse and it's gestalt is full of paradoxes." It's bullshit, but it's future bullshit.
Did I mention the space chicks? Can we please have a movie with more than one female lead? And could we not make them poon targets?
In this film the nookie target was, of course, Uhura. Spock gets his freak on with her in this flick. And it isn't some Vulcan two finger smoochie. Spock does it monkey style! The thing is, it contributed nothing to the plot, it was gratuitous, and Spock looked too much like Kevin Nealon, Yea, I bet "The Kev" has to beat the chicks off with a stick.
Don't think I'm against hot SciFi bitches. Wally Wood is my spirit animal. Hell, lets do a full frontal nudity version of Star Trek where the Romulians perfect the lezbo ray and the Federation sets it's love guns on "lube". I'm there with extra popcorn.
But either do it or don't. Lets see 'um naked, or give them roles that don't involve them playing kissy face all the time.
How about weapons? I know it's kewl and all, but why would you carry a sword that folds up into a tiny sword? Wouldn't you use that space to carry a second gun? Knives have their place. I carry a geek army knife with me wherever I go. But not for battle. Any Marine worth their salt will tell you, if you carry a knife for combat, replace it with another clip of bullets.
I'm going to egress talking about the plot, such that it is.
Do you remember the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie? If the zombie pirates had just asked Will Turner to come with them and drop one drop of blood so they could be freed from the curse, and in exchange they would give him a bag of gold, he probably would have. No muss, no fuss, just ask nicely. The whole movie would have been about 10 minutes, including credits.
Star Trek has one of those plots.
An angry Romulan (who's really just a guy who needs a shave) comes back in time to oowie the Federation because Romulus's sun unexpectedly went nova (if you just heard a popping noise, it's the head of any physics major younger than Lord Kelvin). He blames the Federation.
He's a miner, so he comes back in his mining ship (a ship for digging dirt). OK. Most mining ships are kind of like lunch boxes with engines, they just move dirt. Not Romulan mining ships. These bastards are bigger than most planets and are covered with super death weapons. Kind of like the Dodge Wrangler. Most Dodge Wranglers are encrusted in torpedoes right? That's why the get such rotten gas mileage.
Any way. Planet go boom. Ships go boom. Plot goes ARRRRRRG boom. Spock gets jungle fever. Roll credits.
Um, why couldn't the Romulan guy come back through time, take his super-CGI-future-miner-ship back to Romulus and just tell everyone "Hey, I'm from the future, look at the date on my drivers license and how much I need a shave! On stardate a hundred years from now, at around 3:15PM, the sun is going to go nova and melt our planet (pop pop pop!). Write that date down. No! Use the red felt tip marker and underline it! Now that that's settled, I happen to have this super-CGI-future-miner-ship that is chock full of 100 years in the future type technology. What am I bid?"
The whole movie would be about how this poor swine died from too many ticker tape parades while getting Romulan nookie while playing the stock market.
I'm just saying.
Anyone who says this movie is more than a CGI pretty-bang is either a Trek fiend or they're going to grope you in the theater. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Last word? Meh. But a fun Meh.